Trump asked to fire 3 White House staffers

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The leaders of four minority House caucus groups have written a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the removal of White House staff aides Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.

The heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses are calling in the letter for the firings of the Trump administration officials in the wake of a violent, racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter asserts their continuing presence in the White House is emboldening a resurgent white supremacist movement in America.

"Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy," says the letter dated Monday. "In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us all together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart."

Meanwhile, President Trump is back in the New York skyscraper that bears his name as the furor over his reaction to race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend shows few signs of dying down.

Protesters on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue tried to spoil Trump's homecoming Monday night with signs bearing messages like "stop the hate, stop the lies" and chanting "shame, shame, shame" and "not my president!"

After two days of public equivocation and internal White House debate, the president condemned white supremacist groups by name on Monday, declaring "racism is evil".

In a hastily arranged statement at the White House, Trump branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as "criminals and thugs."

The groups are "repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans," he said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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    Trump remained out of sight and silent as pressure mounted from both political parties for him to explicitly condemn white supremacists and hate groups.

    Trump remained out of sight and silent as pressure mounted from both political parties for him to explicitly condemn white supremacists and hate groups.

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